By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Joey Samonte is very close to the women in his life.
Joey and wife Tina recently opened Adobo Republic in Keizer Station. The Filipino restaurant’s soft opening was Dec. 15, while a grand opening featuring a ribbon cutting was Friday, Dec. 28.
“My wife and I and our five daughters put this together,” said Joey, noting his daughters range in age from 16 to 31. “Three of them are helping us now.”
The Samontes, native Filipinos, previously ran another Filipino restaurant in Keizer a couple of years ago, Nipa Hut. This time they are the owners and everyone has a say.
“Working with family can be challenging,” Joey said. “The ideas from my daughters are overflowing. It has taught me to listen more. We end up taking a vote. Sometimes the more I think about what they say, the more it makes sense.”
Joey noted the concept for Adobo Republic dates back about a year.
“We were sitting down and wanted to open a restaurant of our own,” Joey said. “My wife and I wanted to do something different, using a home-cooked meal concept.”
According to Joey, adobo is a dish commonly served at homes and restaurants in the Philippines, with chicken and pork the most common varieties. In addition to serving the food as regular dishes, Adobo Republic also serves its food in sandwich, burrito and burger formats.
“We tested the adobo burger at the soft opening,” Joey said. “Those who tried it kept coming back. Now they’re trying the adobo sandwich. There has been a good reaction so far.”
Tina is the primary chef in the kitchen, with an assistant. The daughters are learning from their mom as well.
The building was formerly vacant, so the Samonte family did some decorating, including artifacts on the walls, a new floor and a Filipino mat on the lower front of the order counter.
Location: 6385 Ulali Drive, Keizer
Hours: Tuesday though Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m., closed Mon.